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Ten totally free ways to entertain the kids this summer

calendar24 July 2018

Gemma Pask's avatar Gemma Pask

Ten totally free ways to entertain the kids this summer

Go football mad

If the World Cup has your kids craving a kick-about, get them to a football coaching session hosted by FA Lidl Skills during the summer holidays. Depending on the group, sessions are either free or come with a very small fee. Visit faskills.thefa.com to find out more and search for sessions near you.

Make a racket

For those that are more Rafael Nadal than Raheem Sterling, there’s free access to tennis courts in various places around the UK through Tennis For Free. Working with local councils, the initiative aims to improve mental and physical health while encouraging people to make use of public facilities. Visit tennisforfree.com to see what’s available in your area.

Get in to festivals for free

If you want to go to a festival or exhibition this summer but are put off by the price, volunteering will often get you free entry. Provided you can delegate childcare during shifts, this is a frugal way to take the family away for a few days of fun.

Smashing geocaching

Take the kids out for a spot of geocache hunting. A favourite with kids (and big kids), simply download the free Geocaching app, create an account and you’re good to go.

Check out your church

What events are going on at your local church over the summer? Check their website or noticeboard for kids’ groups, family days out, barbeques and summer fairs.

Adventure in a book (or six)

Local libraries are an ideal place to find free events going on. Find out if a library near you is involved in the Summer Reading Challenge. This year’s theme is Mischief Makers – perfect for your little rascals! Visit readingagency.org.uk/children to find out more.

Play all day

This year, Wednesday 1 August is the national day of play. All over the UK, events will be hosted to encourage and celebrate children’s right to play – how great is that? Visit playday.org.uk to find events near you.

Find crafts in the countryside

The Woodland Trust offers a bunch of great downloadable craft resources online at woodlandtrust.org.uk/naturedetectives. Get out in the garden or go for a walk to collect some bits to use, such as acorns, petals and leaves.

Build a hedgehog house

This is a fun and creative activity for kids, as well as helping to prevent the decline of the UK’s hedgehog population. Take an old cardboard box and cut two thin air vents in the sides and a small doorway in the front. Place in a quiet, sheltered spot, such as under a bush. Cover with plastic to keep it dry and fill with shredded newspaper and dry grass or straw. Cover and surround the box with dry leaves, twigs and other bits of shrubs you can find in your garden. According to the RSPB, you should avoid disturbing the house between May and September – see rspb.org.uk for more tips on building a safe and comfortable house for your hedgehogs.

Perk up a rainy day

Of course, even the best laid plans can be rained off. Should you find yourselves stuck indoors, why not challenge the kids to put on a variety show (they could act, dance, play an instrument, read a story, perform some comedy or magic)? Paint plant pots, ready for when the weather perks up. Or build a den using chairs, sheets and cushions, and set up a laptop inside for a cosy makeshift cinema.

Because we know family life can be challenging when you’re on a tight budget, Christians Against Poverty runs life skills courses through local churches across the UK to help you discover new ways to live for a brighter future. Head to caplifeskills.org to get signed up.

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